Whether you have an online business or a bricks and mortar business, starting and growing your business requires time and dedication. Think of the reasons why you went in business in the first place. More often than not you started the business because it was a means, a vehicle, to give you the lifestyle that you want and if you are smart enough to automate your business, it will give you time freedom. Time to spend with your family, time to travel and time to enjoy the money you made. I have seen people start a business simply because they were bored of their existing job or wanted to do something ‘different’- they are simply buying themselves another job.
Motivation and focus is the key. The 7 ways to growing your business is not based on random marketing tips, it is a small business blueprint to automating and expanding your business. The system I am about to explain is very simple yet effective. The key lies in systemizing each area of your business so that it runs without you.
There are 7 areas of your businesses that you should have systemize (this applies to both online and offline):
1. Defining Your Business:
- Do you have a quality product or service and does it solve a problem?
- Determine your Unique Selling Point (USP) by asking yourself what makes your business, product or service different and what is it that you do that other people do not do?
This then becomes your business motto or elevator speech. For example “We help small to medium business owners get more customers online and offline using direct response and internet marketing strategies”
2. Set Your Goals and Objectives:
- What are your financial goals for the business? People often ignore goal setting however be specific about your goals and state the time frame for achieving this goal.
- What are your business objectives: consider this as your exit strategy, do you want to expand, franchise, sell or float the business? Know where you want your business to be in the future.
3. Select and Target:
- Who are your prospective buyers or another words, what’s your target market?
- Are they of a certain demographic, location, culture, online or offline?
4. Setup Monitoring and Measuring:
- Implement measuring and measuring systems. If your business is online you should have access install Google Analytics to see the number of visitors you get to your site and set up different tracking ids. If you’re business is offline, have reports in place to track and measure your advertising campaigns.
- Consider this area as your key performance indicators determine what is working and what is NOT working for your business.
5. Generate Interest and Leads:
- Creating an irresistible offer: One that gets people opting-in to your list (if you’re online) or and getting people to try you out in you have a physical store. Sometimes the best way to get someone to know you is to give it away for free.
- Offline methods: Ads, fax, letters, emails, outbound calls, walk-ins, cold calling, direct mail, workshops etc
- Online: Social media (Twitter, Face book, You tube), PPC advertising, SEO, Affiliate Programs etc
6. Make the Sale and Up-sell:
- Training: Once you get clients in your door, have you trained your staff well enough so that they know what to say and what to do to create a great first impression?
- Training videos: Film the training with you carrying out your staff’s role and have them model it
- Ask your prospects to buy once you have serviced them and explained the features and benefits
- At the point of sale, up-sell on complimentary products/services that would add value to your client’s initial purchase
7. After the Sale and Repeat Sales:
- Follow up now that they are clients
- Build a relationship and keep in contact with them consistently by newsletters, emails.
- Send them gift baskets, thank you notes and birthday cards
- Encourage referrals and reward your clients with VIP card (with discount offers) for their ongoing loyalty
By step 7, you should have a repeat customer who values your business and is happy enough to refer their friends and family. That is the system that you want to guide your clients through and your client’s referrals will go through the same system that your client experienced. By having business systems in place for both online and offline businesses, you business will grow in leaps and bounds.